In this video, learn about the difference between sympathy and empathy, and that empathy is especially important in social because you are responding publicly. Practice writing empathetic social media responses.
- Writing to customers in social media is your job and to do your job really well, you may need to draw on skills you use in your personal life with your friends and family. For example, if your brother tells you, "I'm really struggling at work. "My boss keeps criticizing me publicly during meetings. "I may quit." You'd probably reply, "Whoa, that sounds stressful. "I can understand why you're thinking about leaving." That's an empathy statement. Empathy comes naturally when we're talking to people we care about, but empathy's not just for friends and family.
It's a customer service skill you'll need when you're writing to customers in social media. It's important to understand the difference between sympathy and empathy. Sympathy's feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for the hardships that another person encounters. Empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another. When a customer tweets, "I'm trying to print "a free return label to send shoes back "and your website is trying to charge me.
"Sick and tired of your site never working." A sympathetic reply would be, "Freya, we're sorry "about the glitch with our online system. "You should be able to print a free return label now. "Sorry about the hassle!" And empathetic reply would be, "Freya, you're right! "Our site should've printed your "free label correctly on first try. "We fixed the glitch, so please print now. "Thanks." An empathy statement is built on seeing the situation from the customer's point of view.
Empathy proves to customers that you're reading their tweets and posts carefully and empathy gives your writing a personal on-brand tone. Because it sounds more personal, showing empathy may take a little practice. So here are three ways you can phrase an empathy statement. I can see why you... If I were you... I do understand... And here's how you might use these empathy statements in social media responses.
This customer can't logon to their account. The agent empathizes by saying, "I can see why you're frustrated." In this one, a customer's children were treated badly. "As a parent myself, I'm very disappointed to learn "that our staff didn't help your daughters." And in this one, the customer service representative empathizes about a broken coffee maker. "I can certainly understand the crankiness." It's easy to turn skeptical about customer's complaints in social media.
Sometimes you want to protect your company from customers who just want a refund they don't deserve or a deeper discount that the generous one your company's offered. It's hard to show empathy if you feel the customer's trying to pull one over on you. So you may need to remind yourself daily to use a personal, empathetic tone with your customers. Being a social customer service agent can really take a toll on your ability to feel empathy for your customers. But remember, most customers want to be understood more than they want to hear the words we apologize.
Show empathy and you'll connect with the customer you're tweeting and all the others who are watching in social media.
- Being responsive by giving quick, complete answers
- Writing professionally and in an on-brand tone
- Knowing when to move a public conversation to a private channel
- Using emoticons and emojis
- Handling trolls and other negative customers
- Knowing when to use templates and when to use free text
- Using hyperlinks and coping with character limits
- Following the rules of grammar and punctuation